On Sunday Sept. 11 the Pittsburgh Steelers open their 2022 regular-season with a road game against the AFC defending champion Cincinnati Bengals. But Andrew Filliponni — co-host of The PM Team on 93.7 FM in Pittsburgh — made the Cleveland Browns the focus of his attention this week.
During The PM Team’s show on Thursday afternoon, Filliponni expressed certainty that the Steelers will finish ahead of the Browns in the AFC North standings. And if they don’t, “he will give someone the opportunity to kick him in the testicles in a place like (Pittsburgh’s) Market Square.”
Filliponni subsequently took to Twitter to reaffirm his intent.
“There is NO WAY the Browns finish ahead of the Steelers. If they do, I will let someone kick me in the nuts. In a public place. As hard as they can. For a good cause,” he tweeted.
Predictably, that got a rise out of NFL Twitter, with countless observers volunteering to do the kicking.
Never mind that the honors will be going to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to charity.
The wager has some Steelers fans considering whether they can abide by a fourth-place finish in the AFC North, if they get to “see this kick in the nuts.”
“This is the first time I’ve ever considered being a seasonal Browns fan,” offered another.
Pittsburgh Urologist: ‘Please Don’t Do That’
But in the midst of all the chatter came a voice of reason from the Pittsburgh medical community.
“As a Urologist, please don’t do that,” tweeted Glenn Cannon, whose Twitter bio notes that he’s an associate professor of urology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
It almost goes without saying that this kind of Jackass-style stunt could lead to serious injury, especially considering that “host Chris Mueller was able to convince Poni to not wear a cup after Fillipponi suggested he be allowed to wear one.”
Fillipponi seems to be banking on the fact that Browns starting quarterback Deshaun Watson won’t play till Week 12, owing to his 11-game suspension. And that the Browns will invariably disappoint their fans, as illustrated by the following clip, which was shared multiple times in the course of the discussion on Twitter.
Of course, images like the one above prompted a handful of Cleveland fans to get involved in the back-and-forth, with one taking the opportunity to insult Fillipponi and Steelers fans, writing:
“Let’s be honest, Andrew: you’re a Steelers fan. There’s not much to kick down there in the first place.”
Meanwhile, at least one Twitter user gave Fillipponi props for his efforts.
“This is a good radio host. Say things for attention. Get your base and your rivals riled up. Ultimately doesn’t matter if there is conviction or not behind the statement. Okay then cap it with a nod to charity,” said Robbie Jay, a Cleveland transplant living in Jacksonville.
Coming Soon: Steelers at Browns on Thursday Night Football
As for this year’s Steelers-Browns series, the first of the two matchups is just around the corner, coming on Thursday Sept. 22 at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. The other half of the home-and-home comes in the regular season finale, when the Browns visit Acrisure Stadium in January 2023 — specific date and time TBD.
For what it’s worth, Fillipponi is going against the Vegas oddsmakers. According to the Action Network, Pittsburgh’s over/under for wins is 7.5 while the Browns are at 8.5.
In 2021, the Steelers swept the season series, winning 15-10 at Cleveland on Oct. 31, 2021, and 26-14 in Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, 2022.